Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Varicella-zoster virus, shingles and postherpetic neuralgia

Ann Shuttleworth, BA.Freelance Health JournalistShingles is an acute unilateral and segmental inflammation of the dorsal root ganglia. It is caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella) some time after the primary infection. Most patients recover fully, except for possible scarring. However, a few continue to suffer pain after the shingles rash has healed. This is known as postherpetic neuralgia.

Subscribe to read the full article

With a subscription you’ll get access to:

  • Online learning units on fundamental nursing care
  • 5,000+ practice articles in our clinical archive
  • Learning Passport to store CPD evidence
  • Full online and mobile access to news and opinion stories